Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gifts, Holidays, Surprises

A fellow aspie wrote this blog:

And I'm LOVING it.

See, I'm the kind of person who makes lists. For gifts for other people, and for gifts for myself. I actually don't write my own lists anymore really, I think I am past that for the most part, but I do tell my husband what I want, and he gets it for me. Or I will say "hey, i would like......" as a "hint" to people. My husband eats it up, he LOVES when I tell him something I would like, it makes it a lot easier on him. He hates trying to pick out gifts. And if you think about it, most women say "Pick me out something from your heart!" or some variation of that, and get mad if the gift they are given doesn't add up to their expectations, when they gave NO indication of what they wanted, but yet they expected others to "know" what to get them. That is a game I refuse to play. I'm simple. I know what I want, and I have no problem telling you and getting that. I find it a great surprise to get exactly what I'm wishing for!

I have asked my son to make a list for others. We do have people who have specifically requested that, and I love it because its perfect! He loves looking through catalogs or on the websites online and picking out things. I give him a limit, he cant pick out a bazillion things, and I explain to him different values that we have, and really he isn't interested in most of the toys that we don't agree with because of values or whatever. He seems focused about what to ask for, and he usually asks for one specific thing more often than others, and that makes it easier to get him something off his list. Usually its pretty clear with him what he is really interested in!

I remember growing up, the best present that I ever got was Shakespeare's sonnets. The reason it was the best gift? I specifically asked for it. I wrote a list, emailed it out, and I actually got it. Not only was I surprised but I loved that book, and it was really fun and exciting for me. It made me feel honored and respected for having my own likes and wishes and it made me feel that the person who got it for me (an uncle and aunt) really valued who I was. 

Although I am the kind of person who loves seeing people receive a gift from me, I prefer that the gift be something that they want or at the least need. I won't budge on certain values I have; for example I don't like violent games or movies, so therefore I won't even buy them for someone else, even if that is what they tell me that they want. I will have to get creative and think of something else or just wait and see if they come up with another idea. I am usually pretty thorough about what I buy. See, I do not want to waste my money. I want to buy something that will get used and appreciated.

In recent years (due to a specific circumstance), I have started giving "money" gifts, like gift cards or certificates to restaurants. These are things that I know people will use, and they don't clutter up your house, they don't get thrown out or not used. They are like the perfect gift! Almost everyone these days usually just buys whatever they want when they want it. A horrible characteristic, I know. But especially when it comes to buying for parents, how do you buy them something that they don't already have? Sometimes (RARELY) I make exceptions to that, but for the most part, I try to give people something that will get used up and that won't add to the clutter of daily life. We Americans have TOO MUCH STUFF, and buying some new trinket or knick knack for someone to put up on their shelf is just ridiculous. Exceptions are photo gifts/framed, but that's obvious. 

I enjoy these same gifts in return. I am a stay at home mom (especially now with an upcoming pregnancy/infant coming in the summer!) and I and my husband have both decided we prefer me to not work, and stay at home with our kid(s). So things do get "tight" in comparison to other families who have 2 incomes. I don't agree with these situations because I (and my husband) believe in parents raising their own children instead of handing them off to child care for thousands of dollars a year or even month! The costs are horrendous and I can't believe people think that it's worth it. But that's another topic... moving back now....
So, I love getting gift cards too! Not necessarily from someplace like Target (unless I have a baby registry to fill like I do now!) because that's only going to help accumulate more stuff. I guess even Target has food now, so I guess I could be sensible about it there even! But a gift card to the local grocery stores is awesome! Or something I have sitting on my amazon wishlist! Anyway, I just love getting something I will actually use, not purge to the thrift shop in a month. I have very little guilt about purging something I don't use, so beware of that, and remember that if you bought it and I didn't use it and I purged it, you have no reason to be mad at me! :P

Anyway, its complicated because "normal" people like to "surprise" others. (Except guys who know that it's probably not safe to surprise their wife with a weed whip or tool, but have no clue what to get!) "Normal" people love "the search". It's a part of the "high" of shopping. I enjoy the "high" of shopping too, but I know it just promotes more shopping and overspending, so I try to avoid it. That, and I can't stand actually shopping, I can't stand the crowds, the people, the noise, the lights, the long drive to town, having to keep track of my son, worrying about losing my phone or something like that, and then there's hunger. Because town is an hour away, there's always hunger that happens. And overspending. And worrying about money. And feeling guilty about money. It's all such a pain in the butt, that I'm done doing that kind of stuff if I can help it!

So I make lists. I give myself ideas about what people want. I write down something I know they need or have wanted. I write down what they tell me they are thinking of wanting for Christmas. I write down something that they did this year. I eventually end up figuring something out. But those notes are really important to my ability to do it. And you wouldn't believe the online coupons you can find for things! Or, like I said, gift cards/certificates to a place they frequent. Spot on. Can't go wrong with a favorite meal and a favorite restaurant!

So basically, this is just a part of who I am. This is just how I work. I don't micromanage so much that I tell one person I want one thing and someone else I want another so I'm controlling who is getting me what. I just mention things that I want in a list or whatnot, and I am still surprised with what a person chooses to get me. However, I'm always disappointed when it's something I know I will not use. Those are really tough presents because though I appreciate the thought, it's a waste of their money too. Money wasting is not something I am a fan of. It's like, if you are going to get me a cruddy present I don't want, I'd rather have the 20$ because that would do me more good. And thankfully, my hubby is on board with that! Maybe he has Aspergers too. ;) 

1 comment:

  1. I love lists too! I even have an app for my Christmas lists... :)